Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, on Thursday signed an executive order significantly restricting the practice of conversion therapy in the state.

Conversion therapy, also known as “ex-gay” therapy, sexual orientation change efforts, or reparative therapy, attempts to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.

The order directs the state to take appropriate steps to prohibit payment for such therapies by any provider.

Walz signed the bill during a ceremony that included a rainbow Pride flag in the background.

Minnesota “is a place where you are welcome,” he said. “There's no place for hate in this state. There's no room for division.”

“We want you to be whoever you are, and that should seem like a pretty simple statement. The fact of the matter is, it's not,” he said to the LGBT community.

Born Perfect, a campaign to end conversion therapy, applauded the move.

“We applaud Governor Walz for his leadership in protecting LGBTQ youth and their families from this deadly practice,” said Mathew Shurka, a survivor of conversion therapy and a co-founder of Born Perfect. “This is one of the strongest executive orders in the country and reflects Governor's Walz's understanding that the harms caused by conversion therapy are devastating.”

Shurka said that conversion therapy “puts young people at risk of suicidality and other serious harms.”

Axios reported that the GOP-controlled Minnesota Senate is opposed to banning such therapies.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws protecting minors from conversion therapy. Four states, now including Minnesota, have issued executive orders restricting its use.